Market Trends

Summer 2021 car rental market trends

Emmanuel Scuto
July 8, 2021
Summer 2021 stands around -15% in volume but with a revenue per day +40%.

Who wouldn’t like to compare his own rental indicators to know if he/she is performing better or worse than the market ?

As a revenue manager expert, it has always been crucial for me to elevate the knowledge of my situation and integrate it in a wider market scope. 

In revenue management, it is key to get this helicopter view about the general trends. Analyzing your data is key but knowing how the entire car rental market is behaving, is interesting too. 

Since the beginning of the Covid 19 in Winter-Spring 2020, WeYield has been broadcasting twice a month a market trend report. We aggregate all our clients data from around the world and display them in a consolidated and anonymized format by geographical zone. 

As June 2021 just finished, here are the indicators from a European standpoint:

  • Overall demand shrunk by -10% in days due to less reservations -13% partially offset by a longer duration.
  • Fleet was stable vs last year but at a level around -20% vs 2019. 
  • The good news was on the RPD with a strong increase of +45% vs last year at 106€ vs 73% on June 20.
  • But due to a lower utilization (77%) the profit impact was negative with a revcar* of 55€ compared to 66€ in 2020
WeYield Market Trend Car Rental Utilization
Compared utilization for June 2021 (bold) vs June 2020 (light)

Regarding the super peak summer (July and August), trends are pretty similar to June for the car rental sector in Europe:

  • Demand stands at -10% for July and -20% for August 2021 vs last year at the same time of reservation (equivalent reservation date) to compare a like-for-like situation. Clearly
  • Utilization is a bit better currently for August with only -10% (40% utilization globally) while July is at -18% (59% utilization globally) thanks to a stable fleet vs 2020.
  • The level of cancelations is extremely high, about 10 times more than last year. 
  • The good news is that the RPD continues to increase at +40% for the Summer. Revenue managers are taking advantage of the constraints on the fleet and the appetite to travel of the people who can go abroad. 

WeYield Market Rental Revenue Per Day
Revenue per day in portfolio 2021 (bold) vs 2020 (light)

For most European citizens, an increase in household savings and a strong desire to enjoy their summer escapes after two lockdowns in Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021 without winter vacations are supporting overall strong demand. Clearly, the travel restrictions in the United Kingdom, number one source country for European destinations, jeopardize July trends. 

“Clearly the Prime Minister wants the British to stay in the UK and spend their money locally” says a Cypriot car rental operator. All operators excepts that Boris Johnson will release the travel bans and reduce the cost of PCR tests. 

 * Revcar = Revenue per available car (utilization ratio x revenue per day)

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Emmanuel Scuto
July 8, 2021

Expert in Revenue Management and Pricing in the Car Rental industry for 20 years, I aim to share my optimization experience with our customers throughout the world. I am specialized in revenue maximization, pricing strategy, yield management, reporting based on AI.

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